Natural Remedies for Ear Infection - Baby Crying
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8 Natural Remedies for Ear Infections

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I was waiting in line at the store the other day and overheard two young mothers talking about ear infections. It seems their children were experiencing the problem so many families deal with — chronic ear infections. The thing that struck me about the conversation was that both of these moms were concerned about the amount of antibiotics their children were taking and wondering if there were any natural remedies for ear infections that worked.

Whether your family is experiencing chronic ear problems or infections resulting from a cold or flu, it is helpful to have an alternative natural treatment plan for ear infections — that doesn’t include antibiotics.

Causes and symptoms of ear infections

Chronic ear infections are most frequent in children under the age of six. But children and adults often have middle ear infections, called Otitis media, that cause obstruction of the Eustachian tubes. Some of these infections are bacterial, but viral infections are more common.

The Eustachian tubes connect your middle ear to your throat. These tubes can become swollen and blocked, trapping fluid inside the ear, and leading to infection. Children typically have more problems with ear infections than adults because their Eustachian tubes are horizontal, shorter and small in diameter. The typical cause of ear infections is a secondary infection resulting from a cold or flu.

Allergies, both food and environmental, can cause chronic ear infections. If you are dealing with an ongoing problem you might want to consider allergy testing.

Here are some common symptoms of ear infections:

  • Pain in the ear. It may be mild to severe and is often more intense when lying down.
  • Pulling or tugging at the ear, especially in young children.
  • Mild to moderate fever.
  • Red and warm outer ear.

Most parents know when an ear infection is present or developing. Taking some proactive steps before the infection becomes acute makes treatment much easier.

Natural remedies for ear infections

Here are a few natural alternatives to conventional treatment of ear infections. Also, note that some of these recommendations are preventative and can be used before an infection develops. This is especially important for those who have chronic or recurring problems.


NOTE:  essential oils should never be dropped directly into the ear canal.

There is a thick strip of tissue, called the vascular strip, that runs from the ear canal to the eardrum. If you apply essential oils at the outside of the entrance to the ear, the medicinal properties are absorbed and drawn to the eardrum and into the middle ear.

WHAT TO DO:  Mix 2 drops lavender and 2 drops tea tree oil in 1 teaspoon of a carrier oil. Apply to the entrance to the ear canal and just behind the ear and in a diagonal line just under the jaw bone. Do not let the oil run into the ear canal! Repeat treatment often throughout the day. As often as once an hour is fine.


Garlic oil ear drops combine the antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties of garlic with an oil, typically olive oil.

WHAT TO DO:  Place the bottle in some hot water to warm the oil. Never microwave it! Always test the temperature of the oil before use!! Place two drops in each ear canal and put a small piece of cotton to plug the external opening. You might have to pull on the earlobe to get the drops to flow down to the eardrum.


Research has shown that a disrupted or damaged gut microbiome may be a factor in chronic ear infections. We also know that healthy bacteria levels in the gut are essential to a healthy immune system.

WHAT TO DO:  Be sure to use probiotics that are specific to age. For example, there are specific probiotics meant for infants and babies. Dose as directed on the package.


This is a nasal spray that is xylitol-based. The sugar alcohol in Xlear breaks down biofilms. Biofilms are a protective barrier formed by an infectious agent that makes it difficult for the immune system to eliminate the pathogens. This product is also beneficial for those suffering from an acute or chronic sinus infection.

WHAT TO DO:  Xlear is not aerosol based. The bottle has a pump sprayer that you insert just inside the nose. A quick sniff as you are pumping pulls the mist into the sinus cavities. Children may have a little trouble timing the sniff to the pump at first, but the benefits of this product make it worth working on. 

I’ve found that using Xlear at the onset of a cold or congestion helps to prevent infections and reduce congestion.


This may be one of the most important things you can do to prevent and/or treat an ear infection because it works to keep the nasal passages clear, reducing bacteria in the nose and throat, also keeping the Eustachian tubes open. Many ENT doctors recommend this treatment for babies and young children.

WHAT TO DO:  Purchase a nasal irrigation system that is age appropriate and follow the how-to instructions.


Both of these nutrients boost immune function.

WHAT TO DO:  Give to older children (those who are safe with a lozenge) as directed on the label, or 3 to 4 times per day.


Conventional dairy products can be mucus forming and increase congestion, worsening infection.

WHAT TO DO:  Cut back or eliminate dairy products during colds, flu and ear infections.


Chiropractic adjustments can remove pressure from the ears, facilitating drainage.

WHAT TO DO:  You know your child. At the first signs of infection, a chiropractic adjustment may be all that is needed. My daughter can tell when her son is getting an ear infection. His outer ear becomes red and warm. If she takes him to the chiropractor immediately, the infection clears.

Always remember that you are in charge of the health care decisions for your children. Natural ear infection remedies can work wonders but you must use good judgment determining when it is time to consult with a healthcare practitioner. This article is not meant to detract from their place in your family’s health care.

Are you uncertain about which supplements are right for you and your family? The Wellness Consultants at The Healthy Place are trained to help you address specific health concerns. They will provide answers to your questions and recommendations for supplements that can help you “Find Your Healthy Place”. Call or stop in either of our four locations in Madison and Sun Prairie Wisconsin, and a team member will help you.

One comment on “8 Natural Remedies for Ear Infections

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